Theatre Stars React to Their Oscar Nominations

News   Theatre Stars React to Their Oscar Nominations Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, and more share their first thoughts on becoming 2017 Academy Award nominees.
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On January 24, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced nominations for the 89th annual Academy Awards. Among the recognized are numerous theatre names, including Broadway songriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), as well as actors Viola Davis and Denzel Washington (who each won a Tony for their performances in Fences on Broadway). They share their reactions upon hearing the happy news below.

READ: La La Land Scores 14 Oscar Nominations

For Nocturnal Animals:
“I am thrilled! Loved making this film. I would work with Tom [Ford] anytime, anywhere. Jake [Gyllenhaal] and Aaron [Taylor-Johnson] and Karl [Glusman] made it easy for me. Nice to get some good news in the midst of all the carnage, so to speak.” —Michael Shannon, Best Supporting Actor nominee; a 2016 Tony Award nominee for Long Day's Journey Into Night

For Fences, which won the 1987 Tony Award for Best Play, the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play in 2010
“Thank you to the Academy for this wonderful recognition and for honoring August Wilson’s brilliant words. I am just lucky to have been entrusted with this project and to have the chance to work with the amazing Viola Davis and the rest of my talented cast and crew.” —Denzel Washington, Best Lead Actor nominee; a Tony winner for his 2010 performance in Fences

“Thank you to the Academy for recognizing this extraordinary, important film and my work in it. Thank you Denzel for being at the helm!” —Viola Davis, Best Supporting Actress nominee; a Tony winner for her 2010 performance in Fences

“I could not be more excited and grateful to the Academy for recognizing our film. Extending my congratulations to Denzel and Viola and the rest of the fantastic cast and crew of Fences who brought the words of August Wilson to life. This is a very special day, and I am just thrilled right now.” —Producer Todd Black

“I am overjoyed that August's work is being recognized, and that millions of people are getting the chance to see Fences! I feel he would be incredibly proud of the love and care that everyone involved, especially Denzel, invested to make this film possible.” —Constanza Romero Wilson, wife of playwright August Wilson

For Florence Foster Jenkins:

Meryl Streep Oscar nomination 17

—Meryl Streep, Best Lead Actress nominee as the untalented opera singer who inspired the Broadway play Souvenir; Streep beat her own record by scoring a 20th Oscar nomination.

For La La Land:
“What a morning. I am so grateful for this honor and I’m so happy to share this feeling with my La La Land family. The greatest part of life is connecting with people, and I love the deeply talented, kind and passionate people I was lucky enough to work with on this movie. I’m also overjoyed that the movie has connected with audiences in the way it has, and that it’s hopefully bringing a kick in their step to those who watch it. This is beyond any of our wildest imaginings and we can’t wait to celebrate together.” —Emma Stone, Best Lead Actress nominee; made her Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of Cabaret

For Lion:
“I want to thank the Academy for all of the acknowledgments you have given this heartfelt film. But, most importantly, I want to thank the Brierley family for putting themselves in such a vulnerable place and sharing their story with the world. And thanks to Garth Davis for putting his heart and soul into all of us. Woo Hoo!” —Nicole Kidman, Best Supporting Actress nominee; made her Broadway debut in The Blue Room and most recently appeared in London’s Photograph 51.

For Moonlight:
“I'd like to thank the Academy for this humbling recognition. I'm so proud to have had the opportunity to contribute in some small way to both Moonlight and Hidden Figures. I'd also like to congratulate my friends, colleagues and cast mates who have been acknowledged through the nominations of both of these films. The most one can ask for in this work is to have a presence in projects that entertain and yet still hold a space to educate, inform and uplift. And for that, I am truly grateful.” —Mahershala Ali, Best Supporting Actor nominee; recently seen in Second Stage's Smart People

For Manchester by the Sea:
“Thank you so much to the Academy for this recognition. Making this film was incredibly rewarding and none of it would have been possible without the guidance from our fearless leader, Kenneth Lonergan. I am thrilled to share this nomination with Kenny, Casey, Lucas and the rest of the cast, producers and crew. Congratulations to my fellow nominees. It is truly an honor to be included among such amazing women in this category.” —Michelle Williams, Best Supporting Actress nominee; a 2016 Tony Award nominee for Blackbird

“I’m really overwhelmed. Thank you, Academy members. Thank you and congratulations, wonderful, wonderful cast, producers and crew. It’s such an honor to be counted alongside our fellow nominees and all the really extraordinary movies that came out this year. We tried to make a movie about people standing by each other no matter what; thank you to everyone who let us try, and to everyone out there trying to tell the truth about what it is to be a human being.” —Kenneth Lonergan, Best Director & Best Original Screenplay nominee; Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist for This is Our Youth

Manchester By the Sea was a labor of love for everyone involved, and for us to be honored by the Academy in this way is more than icing on the cake—it's more cake on the cake. It’s especially wonderful to see Kenny, Casey, Lucas and Michelle get the recognition they deserve. But at bottom, these honors belong to everyone on the Manchester team. I feel so proud and privileged to have had the opportunity to work with such a passionate and talented group of people in bringing this deeply human story to the screen.” —Producer Kimberly Steward

More updates throughout the day.

The 89th Oscars ceremony will be held on February 26 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center in Los Angeles, and will be televised live on ABC at 7 PM ET, and around the world.

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